yesterday I taught a couple workshops here at home. I do enjoy teaching skill focused workshops like that; it is really cool to see both dogs and people make huge leaps in understanding and application over a relatively short time period. It's a much more targeted way to learn things than a generic "masters handling" - although I enjoy teaching those too! Anyway, that was Saturday - i think I got a bit more sun than I intended, which will make my "farmer's tan" even worse (I don't really ever wear sleeveless shirts).
Today, Sunday, I had entered Strafe in a local USDAA trial, in Starters Standard and Steeplechase. I debated whether to go or not, since I had made the decision not to go to Denver, but I figured since I had already entered it, it was worth it to go and get the ring experience with Strafe. Sometimes I forget he's only 21 months old! And with all the AKC trials coming up over the summer, I won't have as much opportunity to be relaxed in the ring.
We started out with Starters Standard (for Europeans, this is the USDAA equivalent to A1 level), where he had a nice run for a Q and 1st place. Then I hung around a while and ran Grand Prix, and he ran great, qualified, and won the class for his very first bye voucher!
(In USDAA you have to have 2 Grand Prix Q's, 2 Steeplechase Q's and 1 DAM Team Q to compete in those events at Nationals, which is in Denver CO in September). So this means he is now qualified to run in all events at USDAA Nationals, should I change my mind and decide to go. And so, of course, I drove home wondering if I had made the wrong decision, and perhaps I really should go; maybe fly out and just take Strafe, since Kiba doesn't like to travel that much and I've already made her go on long trips twice this year. . . it would be a great experience for Strafe, and if he did happen to do well, it might give us a shot at being considered for WAO Team next year (or EO Team if they have to select dogs again).
Then again - money! I am not made of money, and while I do think I have enough teaching lined up to afford the trials I want to run, adding another trip is always hard. Plus I'd be leaving 4 other dogs home for 6 days without me. Anyways, I am still in the camp of "not going", but if I could find a cheap hotel and rental car I might still be persuaded to do so. I have enough Miles accumulated that I can fly for free, so that's not an issue at least.
Here's Strafe's runs from today!